Industry NewsMortgage

Market-moving data ‘absent’ from economy

Global trade, currencies push prices up, rates down

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All week long, low-fee, 30-year mortgage rates floated just above 5.5 percent, and early this morning looked as though they might break through, going down. Ain't gonna happen, not right now: at midday, the bond market reversed, the 10-year T-note flinching at 3.93 percent – its October '03 low – and rising to 4.07 percent. Day to day, shade-tree economists at bond market screens get good information by watching the instantaneous response to brand-new news. The on-screen verdict without mercy reinforces or demolishes theories in play. Some of the most informative weeks are the ones like this, absent any of the usual market-moving economic data – jobs, inflation, economic growth – but a significant move anyway. This week's trading solves a puzzle of the last month, and more: why would bonds rally – prices up, rates down – without help from bad news about the economy? The answer: the financial politics of trade and currencies. Japan has recently ...